Does Shah Rukh Khan’s fame challenge Hindu nationalism?

She said that the actor’s films attempt to eliminate anti-Muslim prejudice amid a barrage of films that are “Islamophobic.”

Ayyub suggested that Khan normalizes being a Muslim and in “Jawan” he subtly tries to “portray a message against communal politics.”

“Yes, he becomes a threat because Bollywood is massive, which is why the government of the day is using it as propaganda to vilify Muslims.” Ayyub told DW.

Some, like author Debasish Roy Chowdhury, say that the mere presence of Muslim stars like Khan on the big screen presents a problem for the Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) ideology.

“The very sight of Muslim heroes romancing Hindu heroines on screen must be terribly upsetting for these supremacists, who project Muslim men as sexual predators,” he said.

“There simply can’t be powerful Muslims in the emerging ‘Hindu-first order,’ so the very presence of stars like Shah Rukh Khan is deeply problematic for Hindutva supporters. More so, if they make social comments and emerge as a voice in society independent of their screen persona,” Chowdhury added.

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